Author: Kevin S
The magtrain is running 2 minutes late, someone held it up the last stop, go figure. The day I need it, and it’s late. Jones didn’t show with my neomorph hit, and as I start to shake the irony of jonesing for Jones isn’t lost on me.
Wherever he is, it’s off grid, but hell, he knows whatever he does, it’s forgiven by those of us that need him.
The train pulls in silent and I step on, assaulted by adverts and half the passengers are selling something, food, flesh and other less savory options. A neon punk stares at me as my sweating palm fails to grip the pole as we pull out, I stumble, and right myself. Judged by a freak.
8 stops, 12 minutes and 37 seconds and I step from the chaos of the train. The street is mercifully quiet and the darkness is growing, I walk past shops, the wares and prices assaulting my hurting brain, but it’s less down here than in the main drag.
The curse of the wetware feed, inescapable, irreversible, intrusive adverts, news and mental assaults.
Turning up the alley I see the telltale litter of users. Clear vials litter the edges, phets, psychs, euphorics and sweet opiates, a skinny kid leaning against a dumpster presses a vial up to his nose, and the sharp hiss of compressed gas peels off the walls. Looking up he sizes me up then, his eyes widen and a grin splits his face, fingers drumming on his thighs. A phet flyer chasing the city, as he runs out, the energy carrying him.
I hammer on the door as I reach it. There’s worn paint where a thousand other fists have thumped before. A camera on the door shines red and the door buzzes, I push it open and climb the stairs, the stench of sweat, piss and desperation echoes off the walls as panting and unfocused I reach the top, I unclip my cred reader and all but throw it to Mac who tosses me the neomorph with lazy ease. Moving to the gallery I sit amongst the others, most with pokes hanging from veins, I slip down my scarf and slot the neomorph home, the junkies look at me, more fucking judgment, I have a vial drive wetwired straight into my neck, the vial clips home, and the bliss of quiet and calm clouds the feed.
I sink to the floor, luxuriating in the silence, slipping the empty vial from the socket and pulling up the scarf.
When the feed arrived, it was originally a tactical network, with hud, perfect for silent ops. 10 years out, it was mainstream net link. Civi wetwares have options to turn it off, ours was ever on. The neomorph is the only escape I get. So judge, I don’t care, just let me enjoy the silence a while longer.